By Salam Bustanji
A brutal crime in which an Algerian university student was killed has been igniting outrage in Algeria. According to reports 'He is Gay' was written on the wall, in blood, by the crime scene.
Assil Belalta, 22, was found killed in cold blood in the student accommodation at the Taleb Abderrahmane campus, part of Cité Universitaire on Sunday.
Local media reports confirmed Belalta, a third year medical student was killed by two unknown assailants who slit his throat and then proceeded to write “He is gay” on the wall, before stealing his car and fleeing the scene. Belalta was later found dead lying in a pool of his blood by his friends.
The traumatizing homophobic crime has shocked Algeria as well as Belalta’s friends and colleagues who gathered on Monday outside the medical faculty to pay a minute’s silence before holding a march through the streets against the lack of security on the university campus.
The Algerian police confirmed launching an investigation in the case without providing more details.
Regardless of Assil Belalta’s sexual orientation which is not yet clear, Algerian LGBT+ group, Alouen [Colors], accused local authorities and officials to fight organizations that call to criminalize homophobia. Those remarks were made two weeks before the crime took place.
Meanwhile, some reports suggested that Belalta’s Facebook profile states his bisexuality, however, no information was confirmed and some called it “false rumors”.
In Algeria, homosexuality is criminalized and the LGBT+ community still face legal and massive social challenges that prevents many homosexuals from coming out for fears of being criminalized or even killed.
Assil is not the first victim of homophobia. Earlier in October 2018, Mohammed al-Motteri, a 14-year-old Iraqi teenager was brutally killed in the street with the awful crime videotaped and documented on social media by his murderers for his “feminine” look.
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